Connections Jan 2015 - Page 68

chance someone stealing her car with her son inside. “You’re probably right.” Jeremy said. “Do you remember that kid that got stolen back in Denver because his mom left the car running while she ran in to buy a pack of cigarettes? I probably couldn’t stop someone yet if they tried to steal the car.” Melissa frowned, remembering the incident. Sometimes she thought Jeremy was too wise for his age, like he thought he had to be an adult because Mitch was no longer around, like he had to protect her. In Denver, Jeremy had watched the news every night trying to take in all the dangers so he’d be prepared for the worst. Maybe living in the country would help him to just be a kid again. She pulled into a stall as close to the front doors as she could get. “Okay, I’ll be quick. Lock the doors behind me.” “I’m fine, mom.” Jeremy said distracted. He was playing with the handheld video game Mitch’s mother had bought him. Melissa smiled. Jeremy wouldn’t even notice she was gone. **** Melissa rounded the corner and made a bee line to the frozen food section. She just needed ice cream and then she could escape. So far, so good. She’d been able to avoid every person in the store that she recognized. She had just pulled out a carton of ice cream and was closing the door when she nearly collided with Sissy Francis. Melissa barely stopped the groan forming at the back of her throat. “Excuse me.” She said ducking her head in hopes that the woman didn’t recognize her. “I thought that was you.” Sissy said, blocking Melissa’s path with her cart. “I couldn’t believe it at first, but the instant I saw you, I knew Melissa Peters was back in town. I just had to come over and say hello.” More like you just had to come over and snoop, Melissa thought. “How are you Sissy?” Melissa said, trying to sound as cordial as possible. “Oh, I’m just perfect.” She said, grinning. How had Melissa Peters snuck into town without anyone knowing? She must be staying at her parents’ home. “Me and Frank got married a few years back and we’re just happy as clams.” “Congratulations.” Melissa said, trying to maneuver her basket around the hot pink obstacle. Sissy always did like pink. The tight hot pink pants and matching pink and purple blouse was way too much for Melissa’s liking. Not Sissy’s, that girl was always all about splash. “So I guess you’re staying in your parents’ old house.” Sissy said, moving slightly to prevent Melissa’s escape. “Uh, yeah.” Melissa said, realizing she was stuck. “It’s really been great to see you again Sissy, but I’m actually in a hurry.” “I thought your parents moved to Florida.” Sissy continued. “Are you here to sell the place?” “No.” Melissa said, caving. She wasn’t going to get home until she gave Sissy the scoop and it really didn’t matter anyway. Once she started at the Sheriff’s Office in the morning, the whole town would know she was back. “I bought my parents’ home. I’m staying, permanently. Now if you’ll excuse me, I really am in a hurry.” Melissa gave her basket a push, which sent Sissy’s cart careening into the glass door. “Sorry.” Melissa said as she rushed